City upholds demolition denial
The Dahlonega city council unanimously voted (4-0) to uphold the decision to deny a certificate of appropriateness (COA) application filed by local businesswoman Roberta Green-Garrett to demolish the Butler building located at 24 Main Street in front of a full house at City Hall in a special called meeting Tuesday evening, Oct. 24.
The decision was handed down by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) in its Sept. 25 meeting.
After a 20 minute presentation by Green-Garrett's attorney Joey Homans, the council asked Homans several questions about why the plans for the hotel design had changed since the council reversed the HPC's decision to deny a COA to demolish the Parks building located at 40 East Main Street in a special called meeting in February of 2016.
The four councilmen—Bruce Hoffman, Mitch Ridley, Gaddis and Larson—all commented on the need for the city staff, the council and Green-Garrett's representatives to work together collaboratively to find a solution and erase, as Larson described it, the "two buildings of blight" from the the historic downtown square.
Gaddis also commented that the only way the council could overturn the HPC's decision was if the council found that the commission had abused its powers when rendering the decision.
After the councilmen concluded their questions and comments, Ridley made a motion to affirm the HPC's decision to deny the COA for demolition of the Butler building.
The motion was seconded by Gaddis before the council voted 4-0 to pass the motion, effectively upholding the HPC's original denial of the COA.
"Obviously, I don't agree with the council's decision," said Homans. "Now, I will get with my client tomorrow and decide whether she wants to appeal the council's decision and take the case to superior court."